The Eagles released cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas before Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline.
Jones and Douglas were made available to trade, but other NFL teams balked knowing that the Eagles were likely to cut two of their more recent draft disappointments.
The Eagles are expected to retain five cornerbacks: starters Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox, slot Nickell Robey-Coleman, and reserves Craig James and Cre’Von LeBlanc. James signed a one-year, $1.52 million extension with $300,000 guaranteed Friday, another sign that Jones and Douglas were in trouble.
Jones didn’t practice through much of training camp because of yet another soft tissue injury. The Eagles 2017 second round pick missed a total of 25 games to injury in three seasons. The first 15 were expected as Jones suffered an Achilles tendon rupture just before the draft.
The Washington product was deemed a first round talent by some draft experts. The Eagles said they had Jones rated as high before his injury. They viewed the pick as a forward-thinking one. But Jones never panned out. He started his second season in the slot -- a position he had never played in college -- but was hampered by a hamstring strain most of that season.
He came into 2019 healthy, but he wasn’t one of the top three cornerbacks and would only start later in the season because of various injuries. Confidence, or a lack thereof, seemed to be what held Jones back the most. He had the speed, physical skills and length, although he was on the skinny side.
Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins never called out anyone individually, but the times when he spoke about the secondary needing more confidence were largely believed to be about Jones. The 24-year-old corner was a healthy scratch in two games last season, although when called upon in the final two games of the year, he made potentially game-saving pass breakups.
But Jones was never consistent enough, and the same could be said of Douglas, a third round pick. The Eagles overhauled their secondary in the offseason, adding Slay and Robey-Coleman at corner, signing safety Will Parks and moving Jalen Mills from corner to safety.
» READ MORE: Predicting the Eagles’ 53-man roster | Jeff McLane